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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits Bowthorpe and backs Norwich South candidate Clive Lewis

PUBLISHED: 12:37 14 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:27 15 May 2017

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Norwich South Labour candidate Clive Lewis with residents at the Bowthorpe Care Village on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Labour Party

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Norwich South Labour candidate Clive Lewis with residents at the Bowthorpe Care Village on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Labour Party

Labour Party

The Labour leader has given his full backing to his party's only candidate in the region who is defending a seat.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits residents at the Bowthorpe Care Village on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Labour Party.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits residents at the Bowthorpe Care Village on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Labour Party.

During his visit to Gorleston today, Jeremy Corbyn was asked whether he would support a Progressive Alliance to help re-elect Labour MPs like Clive Lewis.

Mr Lewis is a supporter of a so-called Progressive Alliance - where different parties which share similar objectives join forces to prevent Conservative successes.

He had previously called for Labour not to stand against Greens in Brighton Pavilion and The Isle of Wight - a plea which the party snubbed.

Mr Lewis, whose seat is being heavily targeted by the Conservatives, with the city recently visited by Theresa May and home secretary Amber Rudd in recent days, will speak at a Progressive Alliance launch event on Monday.

Mr Corbyn said: “Clive Lewis is the Labour candidate. Clive Lewis is supported by the entire Labour Party and I’m here to support Clive Lewis being re-elected as the MP for Norwich South.”

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Mr Lewis is speaking at the launch event for the Progressive Alliance on Monday in London.

Mr Lewis is on a panel with former coalition business secretary, and Lib Dem Vince Cable, and Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley.

The group hope to build alliances between progressive parties on the left to field one candidate to run against the Conservatives, rather than having their vote spilt several ways.

And Mr Lewis has been backed by campaign group Best for Britain, which crowdfunded money to back candidates who pledge to support a full and free vote on the Brexit deal. The group has named him one of their champions.

Mr Corbyn later headed to Norwich to join Mr Lewis on a visit to the £19m care village which has been built at Bowthorpe.

His visits came as Labour pledges to protect the “triple lock” pension policy, which was introduced under David Cameron and means pensions increase in line with average earnings, inflation or 2.5pc, whichever is highest.

Prime minister Theresa May has refused to commit to maintaining the triple lock and Jeremy Corbyn will seek to woo older voters by vowing to pass new legislation for the policy. The Liberal Democrats have pledged to protect it.

The Bowthorpe visit was off-limits to the media but Mr Corbyn tweeted about it.

He said: “Great to be talking to pensioners in Care Village in Norwich. Labour will ensure they have the dignity & security they deserve #ForTheMany

“The Labour Party will protect the Triple Lock on pensions because we are #ForTheMany, not the few. We’ll protect your living standards.

“Labour’s candidate Clive Lewis, has been a great MP for Norwich South. In government he will work for pensioners & #ForTheMany.”

Other candidates standing in Norwich South are: Richard Bearman (Green); Lana Hempsall (Conservative) and James Wright (Liberal Democrat).

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